Colorful Meal Ideas for Celebrating Gay Pride Month

This June, as you’re surrounded by rainbow decorations during gay pride month, it’s also the perfect time to remember the bounty of delicious, nutritious, and colorful foods available. Farmer’s markets are full of colorful and healthy options, and when you’re eating a rainbow, you’re more likely to get the nutrients you need and reap health benefits. Plan your weekly meal plans around incorporating a wide range of colored produce into your meals, and if you’re planning a gay pride event, consider using some clever colored foods in your menu.

Red: Red fruits and vegetables often contain antioxidants like lycopene and anthocyanins. These can help reduce the number of harmful free radicals in your body, lower your risk of many types of cancer, and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. This summer, enjoy lots of fresh tomatoes and make a fruit pizza for a real treat. Start with a baked thin crust and add cream cheese, cinnamon, and a layer of all sorts of red fruits, including raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, cherries, and red grapes.

Orange: Bright orange fruits and vegetables often have beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamin C. These promote healthy immune function, reduce the chance of macular degeneration due to aging, and promote healthy skin. This summer, try a healthy take on French fries with bright orange sweet potato fries. Just cut the sweet potatoes into wedges or strips, spritz them with some olive oil, and bake them until they’re crispy outside and soft inside.

Yellow: Many yellow foods are packed with antioxidant carotenoids and bioflavonoids, in addition to vitamin C and other nutrients. These nutrients can help promote strong, healthy bones, effective digestion, and a healthy heart. This summer, try making stuffed yellow peppers on the grill. Pepper halves stuffed with rice and cheese are sweet, creamy, filling, and nutritious.

Green: Eating your greens is key, as they have lots of calcium, fiber, and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll can actually help detoxify the body and neutralize free radicals, and fiber is one of the keys to healthy digestion. Fire up the grill, brush zucchini strips with olive oil, and grill them for a delicious side dish. If you have pickier eaters, consider making zucchini bread, which disguises the vegetable but preserves many of the health benefits.

Blue & Purple: These deeply colored foods often have lots of antioxidants like anthocyanins, flavonoids, and lutein. They can help prevent activity in cancerous cells, boost immune system, improve absorption of minerals, and maintain a healthy heart. Put together a gorgeous blueberry and plum trifle for a sweet treat, or make a puree of purple carrots and purple potatoes for an interesting side dish with more flavor and nutrients than you would find in orange carrots and white potatoes.

The colors of fruits and vegetables can help clue you in to what vitamins and nutrients they contain. In general, the darker the color, the more you’ll get out of a fruit or vegetable. If you eat a wide range of deeply colored foods, you’ll likely be eating a balanced diet with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need to support healthy function.

 

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